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McNamee aiming for victory on the GAA field

Tony McNamee

TONY McNamee could have been preparing for a big game with Finn Harps this weekend, but instead he will be aiming to clinch the Intermediate title with Milford.

Harps are in action against Dundalk today, and McNamee was a popular player during his two years with the club.

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However, he decided to take a new direction in 2017, and got back involved with Milford.

“It was more a work-based decision, and I went back to do a bit of study,” said the 24-year-old.

“I was with Swilly back then, and now it’s Fanad, and with Milford in the gaelic, they’re all close to home and it makes it a lot easier with training and matches.

“It was frustrating enough coming towards the end of last season when I wasn’t really playing.

“I sat down with Ollie (Horgan) and Paul (Hegarty) at the end of the year, and we said what we said, and I ended up not going back.

“But hopefully the boys stay up because it would be great for them, and a big boost to soccer in the county as well.”

The Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure employee has been fully committed to Milford’s cause this year and has enjoyed the campaign as they have battled well in Division 1, and made it through to the Intermediate Final.

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He’s also been playing soccer in the Ulster Senior League, and has been able to combine both.

“I’ve enjoyed this year, and I’ve probably trained more than I’ve ever done between the two sports.

“I’ve looked after myself better, and I’ve been eating more of the right things for recovery reasons.

“The likes of Paul Fisher, Conall (McFadden), Mickey (McGlynn) and all the backroom staff keep us well conditioned, and if you have a GAA match on the Saturday and then a soccer game on Sunday, that’s taken into consideration at training on Tuesday nights.”

McNamee starred for Milford as they won Under 14 and Under 16 ‘A’ titles in the noughties, while his brother and Derry City star Barry was also an integral part of that team.

A versatile player, Tony can line out in a number of positions, but has made the number 15 shirt his own in recent months.

He has excelled in that position, scoring a vital late goal against Aodh Ruadh in the semi-final, and he’s hoping to do his bit in O’Donnell Park and help Milford get the better of St Naul’s.

“Growing up I would have started off at full-back or half-back and then at Under 12s and Under 14s, I moved further up the pitch.

“I started in the half-back line this year, and now I’m up at corner-forward, but if I was told to go and play corner-back I think I could do it.

“It’s a team game and wherever you have to play for the team, that’s where you play.

“I’m happier playing further up the field. There’s a lot less defensive responsibility, and I wouldn’t class myself as a tackler.

“I prefer to be on the ball, but it’s just about doing all you can to help the team win and hopefully we can get over the line on Sunday.”

IT'S said that only the toughest teams can survive in the provincial competitions.

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